Sustainability

  • Eighty-six percent of MIT commutes to campus in ways other than driving alone in a car, such as by using public transportation, or by bicycling, walking, and ride-sharing to work.
  • Through its Access MIT program, the Institute provides generous subsidies for parking and MBTA commuter rail, subway, and bus passes for benefits-eligible faculty, staff, and all postdoctoral scholars.
  • The Zesiger Center offers limited-access, discounted membership designed specifically so that bike commuters can stop by for an early morning workout and/or shower.
  • The campus also offers on-site bicycle benefits for students and staff, including fix-it stations, secure bicycle cages, and a bike-share program.
  • MIT sponsors two Hubway bike rental stations on campus, and four more rental stations are accessible to campus. MIT also provides Hubway membership subsidies for employees and students.
  • MIT hosts 25 Zipcars on campus and subsidizes Zipcar memberships for staff and students.
  • There are currently 20 electric vehicle charging-station spaces available across campus.
  • The Office of Sustainability offers a Sustainable Event Certification to help guide planners toward making smart choices about food, energy, transportation, and materials.
  • The MIT Sustainable Workplace Certification Program empowers staff, faculty, and student workers to take a leadership role in implementing strategies and practices that will make their workplace a healthy, resource-efficient, proactive steward of the Institute and our planet.

MIT is committed to leadership in sustainability and strong climate action at the local level, making strides to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the MIT campus, using the campus itself as a test bed for sustainability innovation and education, and partnering with the cities of Cambridge and Boston.

In a five-year Plan for Action on Climate Change, released in 2015, the Institute set a goal to reduce its campus emissions by at least 32% below 2014 levels by 2030 and to strive to reach carbon neutrality as soon as possible. As of 2016, the campus had already reduced its emissions by 7%. An off-site renewable energy project in development will further neutralize MIT’s emissions by an additional 17%. Further strategies—developed in partnership with staff, students, and faculty—will continue to drive emissions down and demonstrate innovative approaches to climate mitigation, adaptation, and resiliency.

New construction and major renovation projects on campus aim to meet the national LEED Gold (version 4) certification standard, reflecting MIT’s dedication to building healthy, high performance facilities that meet the highest standards of sustainability. To date, seven buildings have achieved LEED Gold Certification. MIT’s proactive Capital Renewal program is engaged in continuous renewal and renovation projects that ensure the buildings are able to support the community’s educational, research, and student life activities. The Institute also offers many courses focused on understanding or solving challenges in sustainability, some of which use the campus itself as a test bed, such as one that explored the solar energy potential of MIT rooftops.

MIT has a vibrant ecosystem of student and staff groups promoting sustainability on campus, such as the Graduate Student Council and Undergraduate Association’s committees on sustainability as well as the Green Committee, Staff for Sustainability. Initiatives range from a monthly swapfest called Choose to Reuse to student hackathons, which engage students, industry, and thought partners in finding real-life solutions to sustainability challenges. As a founding member of the Cambridge Compact for a Sustainable Future, MIT works with Cambridge, Harvard University, and more than 15 local businesses and organizations to achieve a more healthy, livable, and sustainable future. MIT is also a member of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission.